Steven Haulenbeek

Haulenbeek’s experiments in ice-cast bronze are a fascinating exploration into what happens when you invent an entirely new process. 

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design reflects the nature of what made America in the first place: an eclectic mixture of culture, exploring new territory, and a desire to make it on our own while throwing caution to the wind.

I am incredibly excited by the work of my American contemporaries — very likely several, if not all, of those included in this list. It makes me feel proud, inspired, and so happy to be among them. They also make me feel competitive and excited to keep experimenting, taking risks, and creating great work.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
A new relationship with Casati Gallery here in Chicago will open up some new doors for me this year. I am working on a body of Ice Cast Bronze work as well as cast pewter. The first pieces launched last month with side tables, wall mirrors, candle holders, and several vessels. I will also be creating several new pieces commissioned by Casati Gallery to be shown at Design Miami.

What inspires your work in general?
I have always been inspired by materials and processes. I often begin the making process without any plan for an outcome and then develop plans based on what small discoveries or problems I am confronted with along the way. My “Ice Casting” process started this way. Lately ice has been the material of choice. In the beginning the idea of adding ice to a typically fire-y process like bronze casting was inspiring but as I experiment more and dig deeper into this process, I find that the new set of necessary equipment and the constraints that they create becomes equally as interesting. Lately I’ve found myself dreaming up and sometimes building new tools to compliment new variations within the process. That is when it really feels like you’re on to something.